Saturday, 31 August 2013

Comice du Monde Rural - Richelieu 2013

This afternoon saw the start of the Comice du Monde Rural in Richelieu.

Since the first Comice was held in Chinon in August 1846, it has evolved to celebrate the agriculture, produce, 'terroir' and skills which make the region unique.

We intend to post more tomorrow, when we've been to the second day's events but for now here are some of the rather 'out-of-the-ordinary' things we saw in Richelieu this afternoon...

No-one can say life's boring out here in rural France!!

Friday, 30 August 2013

HARIBO; a new line?

We came across these in E.Leclerc supermarket in Chinon last week...

Underwear you can eat... Definitely not!

An interesting product range from their usual lines. Perhaps an underwear company owed them money?

If anybody has any clue to the manufacturing/marketing objective behind these we would be interested to know.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Étang du Louroux Update

We blogged about Étang du Louroux back in March this year showing various views of the empty lake.

This is the same view now.

What a difference in five months.

According to a new information board it will be refilled in the autumn but what surprised us was the quantity of fish being replaced... more than 4 tonnes! The fishermen will be happy!

We also noted a new plug chain....

We look forward to seeing it refilled and doing the great walk around the perimeter once again.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Butterfly Survey: an Alternative View....

Yesterday we carried out the August survey of butterflies for STERF, the butterfly atlas project; (more of this to follow in the next couple of days).

Reviewing our photos last night we realised what a variety of things catch the eye whilst we're out doing the survey. So the following are some examples of an alternative view of a butterfly survey...

A strange plant I don't remember seeing before...

Many of the hedgerow shrubs and trees had very 'holey' leaves This creature and its dozens of brothers and sisters, could be the culprit...

Part of the area we survey is close to water courses, so dragon flies and damsel flies are evident, though photographing them is a bit of a hit and miss affair. Colin captured this first one beautifully...

And last of all we spotted something of even greater interest to us, particularly as it was nearly time for our evening meal...

In the interests of accuracy I should point out that these blackberries (all 2lb 3oz of them) were not found in this 'ready-to-serve' state. They have been washed and de-bugged especially for their photo shoot.

Also we have censored the photos of us getting scratched and prickled to within inches of our lives.
"This photo contains scenes of a distressing nature" 
is not the caption you really want to read on a blog about life in Braye!!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


A large beetle photographed on a walk in our local wood.  Looks like a Stag Beetle but probably isn't.
+(2cm long)

A small beetle photographed on our house wall

We have no idea what that one is but it's a nice colour!
(If you wonder what the lump is on its back it is a raindrop)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Comice Agricole Loches 2013

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday) we looked in on the

Despite a wet start to the day, the afternoon was dry and did not affect the activities. Here are our highlights.

A fine selection of agricultural machinery was on display

A very tuneful band entertained

There was a small enclosure where children could get close up to a variety of animals

A demonstration of cutting logs into planks and posts

In the horse enclosure a demonstration of geese herding! We did not see the horses only some teenage girls practising their routines.

The police were out in force in case the locals rioted with all the excitement... Not really they had a recruitment stand! 

 It was complemented by the usual 'Frenchman with mike' and can they talk!!!

We look forward to our local Comice Agricole in Richelieu this coming weekend.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The ultimate driving machine!

When you see this sign

together with the charging bull

It brings to mind the ultimate driving machine...

Think again...

I did not know Lamborghini even made them.........

But I want one!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Playing at shop

Yesterday Jean came over to 'play shop', in preparation for our attempt at a brocante stall in a couple of weeks time.

I must point out that we are in no way taking this seriously; it is just a bit of fun...

To begin with we played about with arrangements and colours but these didn't quite work for us..

We are allocated a three metre run of tables, and we eventually chose a piece of bottle green fabric to cover these, the better to display our wares. Fortunately this colour co-ordinated with a gazebo which Colin wisely thought would be useful as a sun shade. Our camping chairs also match, to give a pleasing and cohesive 'house style'....

Then it was down to practicalities... We sorted out who was going to be responsible for:

  • the float
  • bum bags
  • safety pins
  • pen and paper
  • scissors
  • seating
  • picnic
  • price tags and labels
  • a gazebo (for shade!)
  • first aid kit
  • photo shoot
  • publicity.......

And finally we were happy that we are ahead of the game...

Of course, we're not taking this seriously. It's only a bit of fun.............??

Friday, 23 August 2013

Eggstra large

Our smallest hen, above, surprised us the other day by laying what can only be described as an eggs-traordinary egg.. It was so big that I decided to weigh it...

At 92g it is in a class of its own. In Europe, egg sizes are defined as follows:
Modern Sizes (Europe)
SizeMass per egg
Very Large73 g and over
Large63-73 g
Medium53-63 g
53 g and under

At 19g above the 'Very Large' threshold it really is big.

For comparison, here it is beside a 'medium' egg...

If that wasn't amazing enough, the next day she laid one even bigger at 95g!

This shows the two monster eggs next to eggs laid by the other two hens...

It makes your eyes water, doesn't it?!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Summer Time and the Weather is Easy....

In temperatures of 34C this afternoon, Colin donned his boiler suit and made a start on strimming *'les mauvaises herbes' growing between the poplars.

Needless to say, despite a valiant attempt otherwise, the heat won and he had to concede defeat.

But when one door closes.... a Jersey Tiger enters, asking to be photographed..

And so we sat and watched the Jersey Tiger and many other interesting creatures at work on the flowers. 

Now surely this is a much better way to spend a hot summer's afternoon?? And isn't this exactly the sort of thing we came to France for?

*('mauvaises herbes' sounds so much more menacing than 'weeds')